HomeColombiaJose Eberto Lopez Montero, alias 'Caracho'
COLOMBIA

Jose Eberto Lopez Montero, alias 'Caracho'

CARACHO / LATEST UPDATE 2017-03-09 22:17:24 EN

Jose Eberto Lopez Montero, alias "Caracho," is a former soldier who was recruited into the ranks of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), fighting for the paramilitary organization in Colombia's Eastern Plains. He would later lead paramilitary successor group the ERPAC, before surrendering to the government in 2011.

History

As a member of the AUC, Caracho met his future ally, Pedro Oliveiro Guerrero, alias "Cuchillo," while both men were mid-level paramilitary commanders in the AUC. After Cuchillo killed AUC warlord Miguel Arroyave in 2004, Arroyave's army -- known as the Centauros Bloc -- split into two factions. Caracho joined one of these factions, which became known as the Heroes del Llano Bloc.

Caracho Factbox

DOB: 1971

Group: ERPAC

Criminal Activities: Drug trafficking, extortion, murder

Status: Captured

Area of Operation: Meta department, Colombia

Heroes del Llano officially demobilized in April 2006, and Caracho began working alongside Cuchillo, even though the bloc commander, Manuel de Jesus Piraban, alias "Pirata," is thought to have been hostile to the ruthless Cuchillo. The bad feeling did not affect the relationship between the two fighters. When Cuchillo founded the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia (ERPAC), Caracho went with him.

He soon became one of Cuchillo's most trusted men. Caracho is suspected of overseeing two assassination attempts -- July 2009 and March 2010 -- against "Emerald Czar" Victor Carranza, a sign of the confidence that the ERPAC leader had in him.

After Cuchillo's death in a police raid in December 2010, Caracho inherited control of the ERPAC. He ran the group's operations while based in northern Guaviare or southern Meta, perhaps the municipality of Mapiripan, where Cuchillo was killed and where much of his land holdings were concentrated.

In December 2011, Caracho negotiated the demobilization of some 272 ERPAC fighters, including himself. In 2013 he was sentenced to six years in prison.

Criminal Activities

As a member of ERPAC, Caracho reportedly oversaw several assassination attempts, and coordination drug shipments as well as extortion payments from farmers and small businesses.

Geography

Caracho reportedly spent part of his ERPAC career based in the eastern department of Vichada, coordinating drug shipments on behalf of Cuchillo's ally Daniel Barrera, alias "El Loco." He was also responsible for handling the extortion payments, or "vacunas," paid by coca and palm oil farmers, ranchers and small-scale businesses in ERPAC strongholds like Mapiripan and San Martin.

He took control of ERPAC's operations in northern Guaviare or southern Meta following Cuchillo's death.

Allies and Enemies

While he was active, Caracho worked with Daniel Barrera Barrera, alias “El Loco,” to coordinate drug shipments.

Prospects

Caracho is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of drug trafficking, aggravated criminal activity, and explosives charges in 2013.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 14 JUN 2021

A former FARC leader and veteran drug trafficker has sided with ex-commander Iván Márquez, a move that could prove crucial…

COLOMBIA / 16 JUN 2022

Jobanis de Jesús Ávila Villadiego, alias "Chiquito Malo," is the current commander of the Urabeños.

AUC / 30 AUG 2021

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was the pioneer in industrial-scale cocaine trafficking.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…